Community Magazine

Public Displays of Affection in Front of the Kids

By Momishblog @momishblog
All three of us step into an elevator.  The Hubs kisses me. We pretend to make out in the elevator. The Sonish is mortified and bangs on the elevator door pretending to cry for help.  The elevator locks.  We're stuck in the elevator calling the hotel's front desk for assistance while trying to muffle our laughter.  We're rescued in a matter of minutes, all of us giggling from what had just happened.  All of us except for the maintenance supervisor who was less than amused by our actions.   Later that same weekend, the Hubs and I begin dancing in the middle of an art museum to a song we both love.  "Ewwww! Gross" the Sonish (14 at the time) kept repeating in between bits of laughter at his father's dance moves.  "Do you have to be so in love?" he said in good humor.  "Why yes, it's our job to show you what great relationships look like," I said.  I meant every word.
I speak from the experience both as a child of divorce (a few times over) and as a Momish when I say that children of divorce are often exposed to what a bad relationship looks like but not a good, healthy one.  They (we) see the fighting, shutting one another out, the nasty looks, and the cold shoulders.  They (we) hear the fighting, the mean words that are said, the cutting tone in our parents' voices, as well as the hurt and pain that our parents try to hide.  We believe it's our job to show the Sonish what a healthy, stable, loving relationship looks like.  
We're naturally a very affectionate couple and we are very much in love not only with each other but with our family.  As a result, showing that affection comes natural.  We show both physical and verbal affection to one another and to the Sonish.  We want him to know what being in love and expressing that love in a healthy way really looks like.  Of course, we're careful not be inappropriate but public displays of affection are never off limits.  He's a teenager now and we want him to seek out relationships that are respectful, loving, and age appropriate.  
By being the example of what it means to have a loving relationship we believe we help him develop those skills that so many young people are lacking.  Whether it's between us and him or between the two of us as parents(ish) showing our love for one another will build a better understanding of what loving relationships look like and break the cycle of bad examples set by past relationships.  
So while he might find the huggy kissy stuff to be gross now, we'll always work to be the example of what a great relationship looks like.  Eventually, he'll realize it was a good thing even if it's not for years to come.
Here's a little theme music from one of my favorite 80's TV shows that always showed affectionate parents (and their grossed out kids)

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